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The Miraculous COVID-19 Recovery of Toño Mauri:

A real-life Superman

We have seen Antonio, or Toño, Mauri in dozens of soap operas but the real-life saga he starred in last year, after being infected with COVID-19, surpassed any screen script.

Dr. Juan was a fundamental part of Toño’s journey, leaving us all with numerous lessons of faith, hope, unceasing struggle, help in divine timing, and the fact that we are closer to the end of this long tunnel, even though the coronavirus has proven to be a very formidable, dangerous and treacherous enemy. That is why Dr. Juan traveled to central Florida, to the city of Gainesville, where the actor and singer is recovering with his family, to interview him after an eight month stay at the hospital. Toño went into a coma four times after numerous complications that almost claimed his life.

The actor's dramatic experience with the coronavirus began on June 26, 2020. Although at first, it appeared mild with moderate symptoms, it gradually grew more complicated.

When he first learned of his contagion, Toño shared it with his audience through Univision's Despierta America. However, his symptoms became more complicated and his cough uncontrollable. He soon had trouble breathing. He contacted Dr. Juan to ask for advice, but the moment his oxygen level dropped, our doctor advised him to go to the hospital immediately.

"When I went into the emergency room, that's when I knew there was something wrong... They told me I would be moved to an intensive care bed and I thought to myself, 'I'm not leaving here,'" Toño explained in the interview. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, where his prognosis grew increasingly discouraging.

His attending physician, Dr. Claudio Tuda, said his diagnosis at the time was moderate pneumonia, which requires oxygen assistance although not in large quantities. However, his condition deteriorated as he developed pneumothorax, the term referring to a collapsed lung.

Toño became more and more dependent on the oxygen machine as he lost the ability to breathe on his own. "I clung to God because I knew that He was the only one with me at that moment. As they took me to the operating room, I closed my eyes and asked God to hold my hand and not let go. And then I felt his hand," said Mauri.

Almost miraculously, after all signs pointed to possible fatality, the actor survived, and it seemed he had overcome everything. Until a new complication appeared: gastrointestinal bleeding. The first good news he received after months of being on the verge of death, was knowing that he had overcome the virus with another complication. But he was filled with hope and renewed strength, until learning the damage caused was worse than initially expected.

Toño won the fight against death a total of four times in his long battle. He was on a ventilator and extracorporeal pump, which is a kind of artificial heart and lung that allows blood to be drawn, oxygenated, and put back into the person. This provides the lungs a chance to rest and recover from the inflammatory process they are enduring. To give you an idea of the severity of Toño's condition, the rest process for the lungs is used for a week or so on average. Toño was on the machines for about seventy days.

Because of his delicate condition, Toño was transported by air from Miami to the Shands Hospital of the University of Florida in Gainesville, to be attended by lung transplant specialists. At the time, his life expectancy without a transplant was none-existent. Ten days after his arrival, the actor received news that there were lungs available that might be compatible. Again, his life was saved.

Toño never stopped fighting. "I remember when the doctor told me I would not remember anything, because they were going to put me to sleep, and I thought at that moment, 'I'm going to wake up. I'm going to wake up and do what I have to do.’ If God decided not to, I would receive it with all the love and respect in the world, because it was my time. But I wanted to come back, so I asked Him to bring me back. And He did.”

The feeling of waking up without tubes connected to his body, and being able to breathe on his own, was indescribable. It was Toño’s greatest personal miracle and a new opportunity at life.

For Dr. Juan, one of the most incredible things during Toño’s entire health journey was to see what he refers to as a mysticism created in the hospital even while Toño was in a coma. Every member of the staff that assisted him connected with him emotionally due to his impressive fight, will to live, and incredible capacity to overcome what had seemed impossible.

Recently on February 12, after eight intense months, Toño was able to leave the hospital and be reunited with his children, Carla and Antonio, his son-in-law Pablo, and his wife Carla – to whom he has been married for 29 years and who played a key role throughout the entire process. His family, without a doubt, was the engine that kept him revving with strength and hope to continue the fight.

Toño is already in his temporary home in Gainesville but is required to visit the hospital daily to continue therapy and receive medications that will help avoid new complications. There is still a long road to recovery for him, but he remains close to his family as they care for and support him through everything that lies ahead. Above all else, they value the immense gift of being together.

Toño represents for us all a story of success, family, strength, hope, science, and great faith. It was precisely the latter quality that his wife always trusted would carry him through.

Toño’s story is a miraculous experience that teaches us so many lessons! Even though we are in the last stage of this pandemic, we must continue to take care of ourselves, love on our loved ones, come together as a community and family, trust in science, and never lose faith in the face of these difficult tests the coronavirus puts us through.

Undoubtedly, and without even knowing it, Toño donned the Superman suit to fulfill the best role of his career – and create a story that inspires us all.

Check out the full interview here.

Let's keep getting stronger and healthier, together!

Your Santo Remedio Team

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